John Forrest National Park

Spend the day away amongst nature in the Perth Hills. Picnic, explore water falls, walk nature trails and discover the Swan View Tunnel

John Forrest National Park Features: National Park | Picnic Area | Nature Playground | Waterfalls | Walk Trails | BBQs | Toilets | Kangaroo Sightings | Tavern

John Forrest National Park is open all year round, and is accessible to the general public with an entry fee payable at the entrance (fee information found in website link below).  A visit to John Forrest National Park in the Perth Hills is a must for those who live in Perth as well as those visiting Perth, with a beautiful picnic area, walk trails and waterfalls to explore.


When you park in the main parking area alongside the picnic area you will most likely find the resident kangaroos lazing around near the John Forrest Tavern.


There was some work going on to install retaining walls and improve the gardens in the main picnic area during our visit. Here you can grab a picnic table under the trees, cook a barbeque and wade through a flowing creek.


We firstly pulled up a picnic table, enjoyed our packed morning tea and explored the picnic area. We waded through the water and climbed over the rocks before we decided to head out on one of the walk trails. Our visit was during winter so there was lots of water flowing and the water was icy cold.

johnforrestpicnicarea johnforrestnationalparkbbq

Update: A nature playground has been installed near the main picnic area as part of the main picnic area upgrades. Find out more about the nature playground here.


My parents had joined us for the day and weren’t up for too much walking so we decided to just do the National Park Falls walk. This was approximately 1 km (2km round walk) from the picnic area.


Blessed with the most amazing 21 degree winters day, we enjoyed a beautiful walk along the trail to the National Park Falls. The walk trail is wide and graded so it’s suitable for jogger prams and bikes. The trail follows the water so there was some beautiful scenery along the way. The trail is well sign posted so you don’t have to worry about getting lost or not finding it.


Once you reach the top of the falls, it’s a short rocky track on quite an incline to get down to the bottom of the falls. If you have a pram you’ll need to leave it at the top. There is also a bike rack at the top of the falls so you can leave your bikes safely here.


We spend nearly an hour exploring the bottom of the falls. It was lovely to put our feet in the cool water after our walk, and we climbed the rocks to see how close we could get to the falls. The colours in the rocks where just amazing.


It’s a lovely spot to enjoy a picnic if you are keen to carry it along with you. This shady spot was perfect and we sat here for some time looking up at the falls above.


My very hard to please 12 year old described our little adventure as “exceeding expectations” so that was a total win. If you are seeking some Perth family adventure we highly recommend this walk trail – as you can see the destination is totally worth it. Water flows during winter and spring in the John Forrest National Park, so this is the best time to check it out.


From the National Park Falls you can continue on another 1.2km to the Swan View Tunnel or head back towards the picnic area and continue in the other direction approx 900m to Novea Falls.  The trails are perfect for bikes, so this is a great place to enjoy a family bike adventure too. We had to get back to my parents but will definitely come back with the bikes and explore the tunnel and Novea Falls next time.


You can stay and enjoy a meal or grab and ice-cream from the John Forrest Tavern before you go. It’s open daily. You can find contact details for open times and bookings here.


If you want to visit John Forrest National Park (or other WA National Parks) regularly it’s worth getting an Annual Park Pass. You can get a 50% off a Annual All Park Pass if you are an RAC Member. Find out more here.


Whether it be a day of family adventure, somewhere to picnic, a nature walk with a friend and your prams, or a family bike ride adventure the whole family will adore John Forrest National Park in the Perth Hills. If you haven’t visited John Forrest National Park we highly recommend it, particularly in Winter when the water is flowing and in Spring when the wildflowers are out too.

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Review by Kids Around Perth  Reporter Lauren, 13th August 2018

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